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Greens win in Congresbury

The Green Party’s Dan Thomas has won the Congresbury & Puxton ward on North Somerset Council.

Thomas polled 831 votes, well ahead of the Lib Dem’s David Hayes and Conservative’s Colin Knott who both had 232 votes. Labour’s Paul Doolan had 91 votes.

Next CAMEO talk

The next CAMEO talk is by Marion Johnson – journalist and so much  more. From her first job until after retirement, the Clevedon Mercury expanded Marion Johnson’s life, as she will reveal on Wednesday, May 10 at 7.30 p.m. in Congresbury Methodist Hall. Entry £2 to include tea/coffee & biscuits. Everyone is welcome.

CAMEO (Come and meet each other) meets the second Wednesday of the month in Congresbury.

Playing field trustees welcome new treasurer

The search by the trustees of the King George V Playing Fields in Congresbury for the key role of honorary treasurer is over with the appointment of Paul Short.

Paul, a qualified accountant who lives in the village, joins the trustees and takes over from Colin Edwards who has been treasurer since 2020.

Thanking Colin for his years of service, Les Owen, chair of the trustees, said: “I am delighted that Paul is joining the Trustees as we embark on the fund raising phase of the exciting project to construct a new pavilion and recreation club building. Paul’s experience of and commitment to sport and recreation at local level will be invaluable.”

The KGV Fields are central to village life and are a fantastic community asset providing sport and recreational facilities to people of all ages. The cricket, football and tennis clubs are all thriving and the prospect of a new, modern building with facilities for all represents an exciting future. Planning permission was granted recently for this new building.

The KGV Fields were established in 1935 under a trust with the core purpose of the provision of sport and recreation for those who live in the Parish of Congresbury. The fields were transferred to Fields in Trust and are administered by the Trustees of the KGV Fields, Congresbury which is a registered charity. 

The Trustees are also looking for other volunteers who can help with the new building project. 

“More local involvement is essential if the project is to be successful,” said Mr Owen who said that anyone who feels they could help in any way can contact him on email at les.owen@owenbiz.co.uk

Catalytic converter stolen in daylight

Thieves stole the catalytic converter from a car while it was parked on High Street, Congresbury, between 2pm and 3.15pm on Saturday March 25th. If you have any information about this incident, especially CCTV images, please call the police on 101, giving reference number 5223069886 and tag the call as NHW. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111

New play area delayed

The planned opening of the new play area on the King George V Playing Fields has been delayed because of technical problems with the trampoline equipment. It is now unlikely that it will be ready in time for the Easter holidays. The new equipment includes a zip wire replacement. As soon as we have any more news on its opening we will let you know.

Playing field trustees need a volunteer treasurer

The trustees of the King George V playing fields in Congresbury, home to the cricket, tennis and football clubs, are looking for a volunteer to take on the role of Honorary Treasurer.

The KGV Fields were established in 1935 under a trust with the core purpose of the provision of sport and recreation for those who live in the Parish of Congresbury. The fields were transferred to Fields in Trust and are administered by the Trustees of the KGV Fields, Congresbury which is a registered charity. 

Under the terms of the trust the trustees consist of nominees from each of Congresbury cricket, football and tennis clubs, Congresbury parish council, St Andrews School and the British Legion. Additional trustees may be co-opted 

The trustees delegate the day-to-day management of the playing fields to Congresbury Recreation Club.

The role of the treasurer is to manage the trustees’ bank account, report on the financial position to the quarterly trustee meeting and prepare simple annual accounts for approval by the trustees. There are only on average three or four transactions a month with trustees net assets of some £5,000. Activity will increase going forward as the trustees will be the developer of the replacement sports and recreation building for which planning permission has recently been granted.

The role of Honorary Treasurer is not onerous and even with the increased activity involved in the development of a new building should not involve more than a few hours a month. Some financial knowledge/experience is desirable. The trustees use QuickBooks, a simple online accounting package. Training in the operation of this would be provided if required.

The KGV Fields are central to village life in Congresbury and are a fantastic community asset providing sport and recreational facilities to people of all ages. The cricket, football and tennis clubs are all thriving and the prospect of a new, modern building with facilities for all represents an exciting future.  Please consider whether you would like to be involved.

If you are interested please contact

Les Owen, Chair of the KGV Trustees

les.owen@owenbiz.co.uk

07902 874142

Families ‘worried sick’ over lack of traffic control

National Grid will soon close Wrington Lane completely for up to six weeks for essential work to replace electricity cables. For residents of just under 200 homes the only way in and out will be the narrow stretch of the lane that leads up to Wrington Road and has no passing places.

Although National Grid will be providing radio control for traffic by banksmen at either end from 7am to 7pm during the week there will be no traffic control when they are not at work – evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays. 

Residents are concerned that this will put drivers at risk of collision or of multiple vehicles having to back up or down the narrow sunken lane. The lane is only one car wide, is without passing places and has blind turns at top and bottom.

“It’s a nightmarish thought,” said Susan Hibberd, one of the villagers who will be affected by the closure.

“There must be around 350 residents’ cars that would need to use the diversion, quite apart from delivery, service and emergency vehicles. 

“We have been begging North Somerset Council’s Highways Department to allow National Grid to install traffic lights. This happened some years ago when Wales and West Utilities closed the lane to replace the leaking gas mains and residents had to use the diversion. National Grid is willing to use traffic lights but cannot do so without permission from North Somerset,” she explained. 

Villagers say their fears are being ignored despite so many of them contacting ward councillor Phil Neve about their concerns. Mr Neve has tried tirelessly to convince North Somerset officers of the danger to residents, as has CRAG, the residents’ action group. 

 “Many of us are afraid of being trapped in our homes or facing unmanageable traffic problems,” said Mrs Hibberd. “We are sick with worry.”

The reasons given by North Somerset officers for refusing installation of traffic lights are that the lane is two-way, that motorists should “give and take” (though there’s no forward vision from top to bottom of the lane and the newly built footway reduces that even more), that lights would put pressure on Wrington Road and that they would be dangerous.   

“We don’t question the need for power cables to be replaced and we accept the considerable disruption this will entail. But we want to feel safe, able to continue our normal lives and leave home without dreading what may happen,” she said.

Witness appeal after A370 crash

Police are appealing for witnesses after a two-vehicle collision in Congresbury on Sunday.

Avon and Somerset Police were called at around 2.15pm on Sunday 26 February following the incident on the A370 Weston Road, in Congresbury, which involved two cars, one of which left the road.

Five people were taken to hospital, with one person in critical condition.

Officers are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident and may have seen the collision or have dashcam footage.

They are especially keen to speak to the driver of a vehicle travelling towards Puxton who was seen at the area at the time of the collision.

The A370 remained closed between M5 Junction 21 and Congresbury and was reopened at around 1.45am on Monday.

New Rec Club plans get go-ahead

An artist’s impression of the new pavilion and Recreation Club with the players’ balcony

Ambitious plans to rebuild Congresbury’s ageing Recreation Club as a two-storey, multi-functional pavilion and clubhouse have been approved by North Somerset planners.

A very rough cost estimate is between £1.2million and £1.4million giving the team behind the rebuild, known as Project Construct, two priorities, explains Les Owen, chairman of the King George V Trustees and president of Congresbury Cricket Club. 

The first is to develop more detailed plans and costs and agree the building approach. The second is to develop the fundraising strategy and plans. 

Project Construct already has a small group of people with building and project management experience serving on a development committee. Their role is to determine the detailed approach to the rebuild. They will also be responsible for seeking proposals from builders and appointing contractors.

“If anyone else in the village with relevant experience wants to join us, they would be very welcome,” said Mr Owen adding that the Trustees will act as the developer with all funding, accounting and financial control through the Trustees’ accounts.

A fundraising committee is also being established. Project Construct already has the backing of benefactors who have pledged significant financial support and is being advised by the England Cricket Board (ECB) and the Somerset Cricket Foundation.

Revised plans to rebuild the Rec Club were submitted to North Somerset planners in July last year following consultation with the ECB and feedback from North Somerset to initial pre-planning submissions made in November 2021.

The new sports and recreation building will have four separate unisex changing rooms and showers for both the cricket and tennis clubs for men, women and children to use on the upper level.  This layout creates far more space for the social activities of the club on the ground floor that can be divided into two so both private and members’ use is possible at the same time. It can also be opened up into one area for larger events.

“The new sports and recreation club building will deliver an important, modern facility in the centre of Congresbury,” said Mr Owen, adding that the trustees and the project committee would like to hear from anyone who is interested in helping in any way with this exciting village development.

You can get in touch by emailing newrecclub@gmail.com

Millennium Green flood defences

The Environment Agency is holding a public information event on February 15th (3pm-8pm) in The Old School Rooms in Station Road to discuss flood defence improvements to Gooseum Rhyne reservoir on the Millennium Green.

The flood defence is formed by the raised riverbanks of the Congresbury Yeo and embankments along the northern and eastern edges. Currently, when water levels in the Yeo rise enough to spill into the fields, the reservoir will begin to fill up. When water levels in the river drop, water will gradually flow back into the river through the culvert near the basketball court. The embankment around the edge of Millennium Green protects properties on the northern side of the Yeo from flooding.

Brinsea Road residents campaign for 20mph limit

Families living on Brinsea Road want a 20mph speed limit to help curb the speed of vehicles that frequently break the existing 30mph limit.

Christine Nuttall, who has lived on Brinsea Road for nine years, has launched a petition calling for further restrictions. The petition has the backing of Congresbury’s North Somerset councillor Phil Neve.

“Over the years I have lived here,  the speed of cars and HGVs going through our village has increased to the point it’s now becoming a danger to the residents young and old so I’ve decided it’s time to do something about it,” said Christine.

The petition can be signed at the Co-op, Cottage Loaf, Hodders Butchers and the Post Office. 

Coffee morning

Anniversary Coffee Morning, in aid of Children’s Hospice South West. Saturday 25th April in the Methodist Hall, Congresbury. 10am to 1pm. £1.00 entry, to include tea or coffee and biscuits. Bedding plants and produce for sale. Tombola.